What Is Bioprocessing And Why Is It Important?

Bioprocessing is a process by which complete living cells and/or their components, for example, bacteria, enzymes, etc. are used to create products for everyday use. Bioprocessing is used to support biopharmaceutical drug development such as vaccines, therapeutic stem cell cultivation, or create chemicals such as biofuels.

Integral to biotechnology, bioprocessing is the basis of turning naturally occurring substances into useful industrial chemicals and medicines. Its use in creating next-generation biopharmaceutical products is becoming more and more popular.

There are various processes included in bioprocessing, but generally two main stages are identified:

upstream and downstream

Peristaltic Pumps Are Key to Bioprocessing

Pumps are used to carry media in both upstream and downstream stages as well as throughout all the sub-processes involved at each stage. As the media used in bioprocessing is typically organic fluid, peristaltic pumps are integral part of the process because they can provide an accurate, stable and consistent flow rate to move delicate media such as shear-sensitive mammalian cells without disturbing its structure and/or concentration.

The Advantages of Thomas Peristaltic Pumps

As an expert in peristaltic pumps, Thomas has been co-developing solutions with OEMs involved in the process of bioprocessing to evolve pump technology, and offer a wide range of peristaltic pumps that transfer liquid media with high accuracy, and at the flow rate required for any stage of bioprocessing; whether it’s upstream or downstream.

Thomas’ peristaltic pumps are dry running, self-priming, reversible, and designed specifically for use with sensitive liquids in bioprocessing. They are easy to implement and maintain, and can be customized to the requirements of any bioprocessing stage. Most importantly, Thomas’ peristaltic pumps support sterility of the fluid path with no risk of cross-contamination by utilizing disposable tube kits or endless tubing.

Thomas Excellence and Wide Range of Peristaltic Pumps

Thomas’ peristaltic pumps offer a wide range of sizes and capacities which equates to flow rates in the range from single drops of liquid to 3000 ml/min that can be utilized for many media transfer tasks involved in bioprocessing.

They also offer unsurpassed flow stability allowing you to ensure high-quality bioprocessing to arrive at a final product of the highest quality. Most of the pumps feature a unique spring-loaded occlusion, which neutralizes differences in tube tolerances and therefore supports repeatability and your process stability.

Single-use Tubing Eliminates Contamination

As contamination of the media is a concern in bioprocessing at every stage, Thomas’ range of peristaltic pumps provide easy to use, replaceable single use tubing that ensures that no cross-contamination occurs and your fluid path remains sterile. Whether it’s upstream or downstream, Thomas’ peristaltic pumps provide accuracy, a stable flow rate, reliability and purity for all the fluid handling needs of bioprocessing; ensuring process stability for continuous daily use.

Thomas Peristaltic Pumps Are Built To Satisfy Bioprocessing Requirements


Media and buffer preparation are integral steps of bioprocessing; the former is the first step of the upstream stage where the media is transferred to the bioreactor, while the latter is introduced at the downstream stage to the mixture after the cells have been harvested.


  • Depending on the media used, flexibility in terms of flow capacity.
  • Accurate, consistent, and controlled flow for continuous operation.
  • Single-use applicability with zero cross-contamination. 



Fermentation is the process of breaking down a substance to its simpler components in order to produce specific chemical and/or physical changes in the media. Fermentation occurs in vessels called Bioreactors (or Fermenters) that are designed to maintain an optimal environment for the organic material to be cultivated.


  • Very accurate and gentle, controlled flow to maintain cell integrity.
  • Precise handling of feed, acid, base and anti-foam fluids.
  • Single-use applicability with zero cross-contamination.



Cell harvesting is a critical step in connecting upstream media production with downstream purification, with the goal to recover the cells and cell debris efficiently and accurately without sacrificing the purity of the product. Transferring the media through filters relies on peristaltic pumps that offer flow accuracy and stability in a wide range of pressures and flow rates.


  • Accurate, consistent, and gentle flow of delicate cell media.
  • Single-use applicability with zero cross-contamination.



The purification process separates those contaminants that resemble the product very closely in their physical and chemical properties. This step utilizes very sensitive and sophisticated equipment that recover the product based on affinity, size exclusion, reversed phase chromatography, crystallization and fractional precipitation. The polishing process is the final step that results in packaging the end-product in a form that is stable, easily transportable and convenient. Methods used to “polish” the product include crystallization, desiccation, and lyophilization.


  • Controlled, stable flow to feed media through filtration methods.
  • Single-use applicability with zero cross-contamination.